Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and International Development Secretary Priti Patel are attending the Brussels conference on Syria. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May unveils details of £1 billion in aid to go towards education, skills and jobs for Syrian refugees and their host countries…reports Asian Lite News
The Prime Minister revealed details of a £1 billion jobs and education package to support the most vulnerable victims of the Syrian conflict. The overseas development funding, an allocation of £840 million pledges made last year at the London Syria Conference along with £160 million of new money, will provide vital support for refugees and the countries hosting them across the region. This includes Jordan where there are currently over 650,000 registered Syrian refugees. The Prime Minister will witness the challenges facing Jordan first-hand today as she visits a school in the country educating young Syrian refugees and Jordanian children.
The new announcement comes ahead of a UK co-hosted Syria conference in Brussels later this week and builds on the UK’s leadership at the London Syria Conference last year, where the UK made education for children and the creation of jobs in the Middle East the main focus. At the event – following extensive UK lobbying – more than £9.6 billion was pledged in total by the international community, bringing hope to millions of people across the region.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is attending the Brussels Conference. Ministerial representatives from a large number of delegations, including the EU and the region but also the wider international community, the United Nations, major donors and civil society, humanitarian and development organisations are attending the conference. The UK is once again co-hosting the conference, along with the European Union, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar and the United Nations. The Foreign Secretary along with the Development Secretary will jointly represent the UK.
The package of UK support will focus on creating new incentives for refugees to remain close to home so they don’t feel forced to make the perilous and potentially life-threatening journey to Europe. It will focus on providing more education, skills and jobs for refugees and others in countries like Jordan that border Syria, bringing them the stability and resilience to cope with the ongoing influx of people seeking shelter and giving those people the chance to build themselves meaningful long-term futures in the region.
The UK support includes:
Humanitarian aid including food, vaccinations, shelter and basic health care for millions of vulnerable people inside Syria and across the region; education for tens of thousands of children in Jordan and Lebanon over the next 3 years, along with work to improve standards and provide vocational training for pupils in Jordan, making it easier for families to build a future in the region; new funding for infrastructure in Jordan and Lebanon potentially creating thousands of new jobs, providing refugees and host communities with opportunities in the region while supporting vital building work potentially including waste water plants, schools and roads; new support and advice to small- and medium-sized businesses in Lebanon to create more jobs for host communities and Syrian refugees; British expertise and technical advice to the governments of Jordan and Lebanon to accelerate private sector-led growth and job creation
“Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives and millions more have been forced to flee their homes by the barbarity of the Syria conflict. The UK has led the international response to the defining humanitarian crisis of our generation, and will continue to set the pace,” the prime minister said.
“The ambitious approach agreed in London last year is delivering real results and giving refugees what they want – opportunities and education close to home that provide a meaningful alternative to risking their lives trying to reach Europe. This is clearly in the UK’s national interest.
“I will be urging the countries attending the Brussels Conference to follow Global Britain’s lead and deliver on the promises we made in London by stepping up assistance to the millions of people affected by the ongoing Syria conflict and helping to build resilience across the region. We are a kind and generous country that will never turn our backs on those who so desperately need our support.
The London Conference on Syria and the Region took place on 4 February 2016 and was co-hosted by the UK, along with Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the United Nations. It brought together more than 60 countries and organisations, including 33 heads of state and governments. In excess of £9.6 billion was pledged by the international community – the most that has ever been committed for a humanitarian crisis in a single day.
Historic ‘Compact’ agreements struck with Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan as part of the London Conference aimed to create at least 1.1 million jobs in the region. Refugee-hosting countries agreed to ensure that no child missed out on the chance of an education as a result of the conflict, including a pledge to deliver education to all refugee and host community children in countries neighbouring Syria.
Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees have now received new training and job opportunities and nearly half a million Syrian refugee children are now in quality education in both Lebanon and Jordan.
The UK committed £1.2 billion in new funding at the London Conference, taking our total commitments at that point to more than £2.3 billion. By the end of 2016, the UK had delivered £550 million in new funding, £40 million more than the £510 million it had pledged for 2016. Total UK funding for the Syria crisis now stands at £2.46 billion.